Jakarta Indonesia – Embracing Coercive Privation

Asia | | August 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm




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slums are vulnerable to floodingFor those who seek to exploring places that swerve off beaten tracks, to experience the true flavor of the place sans the frills attached and feel an assail to all senses, then one must undertake a venture through Jakarta’s impoverished slum areas. Jakarta is a bustling town with sharp contrasting lifestyles from the affluent sections of society to the other hidden sections that is a far cry from the plush shopping centres and luxury hotels.

The perpetually enduring slum areas of Jakarta are home to more than half of its inhabitants. In Galur, the informal sector comprises of a majority section of people involved in plantation, tofu, tempe industrial units, conveyance using motorbike taxis and three wheelers. Many earn their livelihood working in metal shops or numerous small scale factories and vending food. Pass through tail backed traffic, smutty rivers, air reeking of diesel odours, rail lines to meet up with the real people and how they survive, work and bring up their children.

JakartaExperience the ingenuity and innovativeness of the inhabitants of the most impoverished areas of Jakarta, Kampung Pulo located in the core of Ciliwung who despite recurrent flooding and little help from the government are bravely carrying on with their lives with their makeshift dwellings often razed down.

As one spans through the constricted lanes of Galur, halt to take in the sights of gaping rooms where shanty dwellers engage in tofu making by exhuming discarded wood under concrete containers whose miasma hangs heavy off the roof while in other dingy rooms barefooted men drain off the water from bags of tofu and soy bean cakes by sheer weight. Experience the crude hardworking lifestyles of the inhabitants; how they amuse the kiddie brigade with simple devices like bike powdered Ferris wheels among others.

Jakarta IndonesiaUndertake a ride on a Jakartan train or an angkot to the historically significant Kota that has a majority deprived populace to chat along with locals delving into their lives, characters and stories, passing through the fish mart of Pasar Ikan for its interesting assortment of views, hums,  personalities and tales.

A truly soul stirring, sombre experience not intended for the weak-hearted where one truly learns to value what one has and in how many ways one can contribute to betterment of the underprivileged.

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1 Comment

  1. vareeja says:

    Jakarta has a vast range of food available at hundreds of eating complexes located all over the city. From the modest street-side foodstalls and traveling vendors to the high-class expensive restaurants.
    The traditional Padang restaurants and humble budget Javanese Warteg (Warung Tegal) foodstalls is ubiquitous in the capital.

    Next to myriad selections of Indonesian food and regional specialities from all over Indonesia, there is also international food, especially Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, American, French, Middle Eastern, to modern fusion food because of the cosmopolitan population.
    One of the popular local cuisine of Jakarta is Soto betawi, which is a cow milk or coconut milk broth with beef tendons, intestines, tripe.
    The other popular cuisine are kerak telor, gado-gado, sate, and kue cucur.

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